I’ve realised lately that sometimes I’d rather not try, than fail. Making an excuse is easier than opening myself up to one of my big fears: failure, letting myself down, not being good enough.
An example of this is therapy. I’ve been told many times before that it’s important to try and negate what my eating disorder tells me, and to develop healthy responses. However, my feeling has always been
I can’t do the healthy thing, so I will be no good at this. What’s the point trying?
The point of trying (I learned today in my therapy session), is that it happens in steps. First of all, I need to create the brain space and give some time of day to those healthy, alternative thoughts. If I could act on them 24/7 then I wouldn’t have an eating disorder! (This was a light bulb moment 😂).
I need to get good at not being good at things. I need to be able to try, and feel ok when I can’t be perfect. Thinking about it, my eating disorder is what wants me to remain fearful of failing. That’s another way it can keep me stuck.
I hope the process of therapyI’ve just started with help me unstick ❤️
I’m currently reading the Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) big book and workbook. I’ve done my step 1 work, and have started on step 2, in which I need to find a purpose or power bigger than myself to keep my focus and give me strength. For some this might be God, but I’m not religious. There are several suggestions and explanations, though nothing has struck me as the one just yet!
Fate and the idea of the universe rewarding hard work are some ideas I’ve thought of. My purpose needs to be more than to be a performer (I think), as it needs to be something to remind me that I’m a tiny part of the world when I’m sucked into spiralling thoughts, and to motivate me to be my best.
It’s not recommended to use being a good daughter/Mum/girlfriend etc, so I need to do some thinking about myself. What makes me feel truly connected to the world? What can be stronger than my fears day in, day out?
🤔 *any experience with this is welcome!*
The phrase New Year, New Me implies that the ring of midnight magically transforms us via some kind of witchcraft. In my view, the equation is more like:
New Year + Self awareness + Hard work = New Me.
It isn’t so catchy, is it? In the past, I have thought about the year gone by/ my hopes for the coming one, but never made firm resolutions. (I do however like to make a mini bucket list for the year, such as shows I want to watch, or a place I’m keen to visit)
This year I want to hold myself more accountable and make goals. Perhaps I’ve been scared of failing at my resolutions, and so held back from making any in past years. I’m open to the idea that what I want could change in the course of the next 12 months, and that’s okay. For now though, here are my first proper resolutions:
- Pass my driving test
- Take therapy as it comes, and know that recovery is possible if I decide that’s what I want to fully commit to
- (Hopefully) become strong at aerial (if I like it after my first session next week!)
- Utilise the online 12 step meetings for eating disorders. Keep going even if I feel unsure about my own desire right now
- Do little things for myself more often- paint my nails more, do face masks, watch a favourite film…
- Do my best. Don’t let the possibility of failing stop me from trying all of these things.
Good wishes for the last day of 2017, and a happy new year when it arrives for you
This week I have attended 3 support groups (one for the first time!) and my first 12 step meeting in person. It was a very spontaneous plan, as a friend invited me to something I wouldn’t have gone to on my own. (I say it was my first, when I technically went to ABA once irl but I turned up and it was one, elderly man, and so I’m not sure it counted to be honest 😂)
Anyway, I’m glad I went. I was fortunate to be present for a very inspiring talk by a woman who has clearly reaped the rewards of committing to recovery. She was funny, insightful, and truthful. I felt privileged that she was my first experience, as I related to things she said, and I liked how she was able to find humour in things that have brought great darkness into her life in the past.
To see my friend be confident and honest in this setting also felt quite special. It was a pleasure to be welcomed into something that is now a big part of her life.
It also made me reflect on myself and on the last year or so. While I have learned lessons as a person and a professional in that time, I feel I have gained knowledge but not action in terms of my mental health. I am absolutely more self aware than I was at the beginning of my issues, and I am absolutely able to recognise some of the patterns and main things I find challenging, but fear has held me back from making consistent change. The fear of what is under the surface and of whether I am able to handle it is a very powerful force. But I see that people are doing it everyday.
I have goals for 2018 like passing my driving test (look out world), but my greatest commitment (and the reason I’m even at home right now) has to be ME. My emotional and physical health has to be a priority of mine. I am grateful that I have a loving family and friends who will always support me, but they can’t do it on my behalf.
For some reason that I’m unsure of, tonight feels lonely. I’m not alone, but I feel that way with all the thoughts in my mind.
My routine is becoming more organised. I now have certain dance classes and support groups I attend. Lists, as always, are my friend. I write down my weekly plans, as well as silly to do’s and enjoy crossing them off.
Aside from food thoughts tonight, my brain is circling on unanswerable questions.
If I get the benefit, how much will it be?
If I don’t get it, when and where could I realistically work (health and time wise) as a temporary measure in order to pay for the classes etc that I need to keep doing so I’m still working towards getting another job in the industry?
Am I doing the right thing by signing up to try something new in January? What if my strength lets me down?
What if I don’t get better?
What if I fail? At getting better, in my career, in life?
Does anyone have any answers? People at the back? Anyone?! No… well, just me on my own then. Seriously speaking, I know I can’t answer these questions right now. Nobody can! I’d just like to know what’s coming and whether I can handle it, but life just isn’t like that.
As usual, I’ve had the desire to write but not enough to say/motivation to do it umpteen times. At last, I’m actually posting.
The past year has shown me that I am very adaptable. I’ve moved countries twice, and returned in the middle to a new family home in a new city (that I’d never seen). Those kind of big changes are always going to have some challenges, but I was able to ride out the initial discomfort and prove to myself I could do it. Patience with myself isn’t something I find easy. In fact, I’m one of the least patient people I know.
The problem with having a problem with patience, is that in life we are always waiting for something. Be it a job, a partner, Christmas, or the arrival of a parcel, it could be easy to constantly feel impatient about something.
My current feeling of discomfort and lack of patience is tangible. I’m awaiting to hear back from an audition, while also waiting to hear back from my therapist about whether I need more intensive treatment. A great combination, huh? I don’t know yet how I feel. My tiredness from my last contract plus years of ED tiredness means a next job seems daunting. Am I in a place right now where I can do it? Would a rejection be a blessing in disguise? Deep down do I want more intensive treatment? You don’t know? Me either 😂
My point is, I can mull it over a thousand times, but until I’m presented with all the choices it’s just my impatience and anxiety wasting my energy. I need to make a promise to myself to enjoy being at home, adapting back to family life, and do proactive things (however small).
On Tuesday afternoon I fly to the Canary Islands to start my first professional dance contract. I’m going to be living abroad for 6 months, and my family are moving away from my childhood home and to a different city in the next month or two. It’s strange to think that my home won’t be home when I return.
In amidst saying goodbye to the town I grew up in, I’ve been packing my suitcases and thinking about what’s to come. I can’t believe I’ve got a dance job, but I’m also nervous about the daytime activities I will be doing, as there are some types of fitness classes etc which I haven’t had to teach before. I know my rough schedule, although I don’t know how my induction period is going to work, or how quickly I will be thrown in. The control freak in me doesn’t like that 😂
I have therapy tomorrow which I’m glad about, however the homework was hard and it feels like there’s gonna be tonnes to talk about tomorrow!
For now it’s my penultimate sleep in my childhood bedroom 💜❤️
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all argued with a family member at some point. It’s inevitable when you are with them so much. I hate confrontation. I don’t know how to get rid of anger in a way that’s healthy, so I normally end up internalising all my feelings and taking it out on myself. I was doing this, in my usual fashion, after a conversation came up that upset me the other night. I don’t drink, but this person does (and had been that evening) I felt really shitty and cried all evening, but not knowing how to even begin a conversation about it with them afterwards, I just got more and more on edge.
Fast forward 24 hours and the same conversation topic was brought up. I commented back that the whole discussion was making me want to kill myself a bit so if we could stop that would be ideal. (Blunt I know, but honest!)
Well, it kicked off. Shouting, crying, walking out. All of it. And then it was just me and them on our own and I was being told things about my family which I just didn’t want to hear. How somebody else almost killed themselves, how one parent prefers a separate living space, how caring for somebody with mental illness has ruined X number of years…
I can’t fucking cope. I know that on the outside I come from a middle class family who loves me & wants to help me, but really nothing is perfect. My parents relationship isn’t exactly going swimmingly, and the stuff I was told the other night is haunting me. I’m not good at forgiveness when somebody has really hurt me. And this hit all the nerves. How do you move on?
It may be selfish, but seeing the flaws of my family is so triggering to my ED and I just wish I didn’t know anything sometimes. In some ways my knowledge of things that happened when I was growing up have made my relationship with my Mum really special. Lots of people don’t have the closeness we do. But equally, knowing a lot of the imperfections and difficulties in my family makes my house very triggering sometimes, and I wonder how different things might have been if I was less surrounded by certain issues in my household. Who knows!
If anyone has any experience or thoughts about trying to rekindle my relationship after all this drama with that one person, comment below 💕
I feel like so many positive things can happen in a day, but any negativity will still feel very intense and overwhelming. I am constantly battling a very strong feeling over something and that’s quite tiring. Ruminating is huge issue for me, as almost everything gets replayed over and over in my mind. How do you stop doing that when you’ve done it your whole life? Overthinking is definitely a part of my personality that I want to learn to handle better.
I’ve been doing short mindfulness meditations as therapy homework, and although I sometimes just feel confused by my emotions, or unable to identify them it is helping. Taking a tiny bit of time to just be is sorta… Refreshing.
Happy weekend everybody
Today I wanted to make a list of my favourite distraction tools that I use to help me in difficult moments. I will admit that it’s easy to say “just distract yourself” and much harder to actually do it, but it is helpful if you can get the impotus to try 🙂
In no particular order:
1. Colouring it turns out that adult colouring books exist and are very pretty! The Mindfulness Colouring Book is my current one.
2. Cuddle a pet obviously this does require a pet to be effective… But I cuddle a teddy when there’s a lack of animals around! But seriously, giving my dogs or cats some attention makes me feel physically warm inside. It makes me feel safe and loved.
3. Watching a favourite tv series from the beginning as long as your favourite thing isn’t super serious then this one is great!
4. Enjoy the wonder that is youtube. Kati morton has amazing mental health videos on her channel (Click here to see)and I also love Grace Helbig for entertainment. She is simply hilarious.
5. Phone somebody just chat. Listen to their stories and just separate from your own life briefly.
6. Listen to music or even create a whole new playlist 😉
7. Write, draw,or blog about what’s on your mind
8. Do something for yourself my favourites are buying a Costa, painting my nails or having a hot bubble bath.